Welcome to the Larry411.com Guest Columnists! April 27, 2013
In my travels to the best film festivals in…
The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival begins exactly six weeks from Thursday. I've attended 70 film festivals since the start of 2006, but none as prestigious or breathtaking in scope as this one. I saw about 225 movies there from 2006-2013, and many of my year-end Top Picks across all festivals over the past few years came out of TIFF.
This year's event runs from September 4-14 and, to almost anyone you ask, it's the top festival in the Western Hemisphere. To many, TIFF is second in the world only to Cannes. It was ranked #3 among the Top 50 Film Festivals in a recent survey by the editors of Indiewire. Many movies have their World or North American premieres there. Almost every major Oscar-winning film of the past few years screened in Toronto, including all Best Picture winners for the past seven years. The number of feature titles is expected to total close to 260.
Like last year, film announcements will be rolled out in sections over the course of the next several weeks. TIFF has become quite adept at keeping the lineup close to the vest. 59 high profile titles in the Galas and Special Presentations sections have been unveiled so far, including the Official Opening and Closing Night Films. "Toronto can anticipate another remarkable lineup of films," said Piers Handling, CEO and Director of TIFF. "Cinema’s collective and transformative experience lives at the heart of our Festival - a sentiment that inspires the global dialogue rippling throughout the selections revealed today." Added Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, "We can't wait to present the new films from some of cinema's brightest talents. This year we'll welcome filmmakers from France, Germany, China, the UK, the US and more to red carpets in Toronto."
The list consists of 59 features, including 13 Galas and 46 Special Presentations. There are 37 World Premieres among them, including the latest from directors Noah Baumbach, Susanne Bier, Peter Ho-Sun Chan, David Dobkin, Philippe Falardeau, Mia Hansen-Løve, Ning Hao, François Ozon, Christian Petzold, Lone Scherfig, and Chris Rock.
Highly anticipated titles in the Galas program include David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars, starring Robert Pattinson, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Williams, Sarah Gadon, and John Cusack; David Dobkin's The Judge, with Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Vincent D'Onofrio, and Billy Bob Thornton; and Shawn Levy's This is Where I Leave You, with Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, and Rose Byrne. Special Presentations include Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland's Still Alice, starring Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, and Julianne Moore; Jason Reitman's Men, Women and Children, starring Jennifer Garner, Adam Sandler, and Judy Greer; and Cake, from director Daniel Barnz, starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, and Sam Worthington.
Documentary programmer Thom Powers has confirmed that doc news will be revealed next Tuesday, July 29. Last year's dates were as follows: Midnight Madness on Monday, July 29, 2013; TIFF Docs, City to City, Cinematheque, and Vanguard on Tuesday, July 30, 2013; the Canadian lineup on Tuesday, August 6, 2013; and more Galas and Special Presentations along with Contemporary World Cinema and Kids on Monday, August 12, 2013. The final schedule will be released this year on Tuesday, August 19. The total number of features is expected to total around 260 so you can expect another 200 to be announced.
There were several surprises outside the list of films, including the welcome announcement that a portion of bustling King Street will be closed to traffic during TIFF's opening weekend from Thursday, September 4 through Sunday, September 7. Being the festival hub, including the locations of Gala host Roy Thomson Hall, the ticket offices, Princess of Wales Theatre, and TIFF Bell Lightbox, this will allow festivalgoers and others to spill out into the street instead of being confined to the sidewalks. Traffic will be detoured around the area. There will be food vendors along with a stage for music and live performances.
A major change was also announced in the way TIFF looks at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado. In the past, many films scheduled as World or North American Premieres in Toronto ended up at Telluride the weekend prior to TIFF -- after many had already been announced as World or North American Premieres in Toronto. This didn't really affect premiere status, however, as many in the industry didn't consider Telluride screenings to be official "premieres," allowing TIFF to retain that claim (see my detailed explanation). This year, however, TIFF is recognizing Telluride screenings as official premieres. Accordingly, TIFF has announced that any film wishing to play Toronto as a World or North American Premiere, or wanting to screen in the first four days of the festival, cannot have played anywhere else in the world or North America, respectively (including Telluride). How this will affect programming, on the part of either Telluride or TIFF, remains to be seen. At the very least, it puts filmmakers on notice that a Telluride screening will prevent them from having their World or North American Premiere in Toronto, or a screening in the coveted first four days. It also tells us that any film now being announced as a World or North American Premiere at TIFF will, by definition, not be at Telluride. Continuing to apply this deductive reasoning, it also means that any film which has not played anywhere yet and is listed as a Canadian Premiere at TIFF must be playing Telluride. (And if it hasn't played anywhere yet and is listed as a North American Premiere at TIFF it's probably playing Venice, although that was always the case.) TIFF Artistic Director Cameron Bailey explains the new policy in the Los Angeles Times. Steve Pond at The Wrap has also penned a nice analysis of the new rules and their implications.
This will be my ninth year covering TIFF and as the festival approaches I'll be posting previews of some of the films I'm most looking forward to seeing. And, of course, stay tuned for my annual series, "How To Do The Toronto International Film Festival - Real Tips For Real People." You can find everything you need to know about buying tickets HERE. For an unofficial sneak peek at some of the films which are expected to be at TIFF, check out this list at indiewire's The Playlist. They're usually pretty accurate as a good percentage eventually do make it into the Festival.
Here is a partial list of stars in the films announced today. While it's not unusual for actors to have more than one picture at TIFF, rarely have so many had that distinction so soon in the announcement rollout. Actors with two films include Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, John Cusack, Julianne Moore, Greta Gerwig, Anna Kendrick, and Al Pacino. Adam Driver has three films in the festival so far. It is safe to say that most of the filmmakers and actors -- certainly those who are available -- will attend the festival.
Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Vincent D'Onofrio, Robert Downey Jr., Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard, Billy Bob Thornton, Kate Winslet, Stanley Tucci, Alan Rickman, Matthias Schoenaerts, Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer, Anthony Mackie, Jennifer Ehle, Gillian Jacobs, Bill Burr, Andre Holland, Jillian Estell, Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz, David Harbour, Bill Pullman, Melissa Leo, Anthony Michael Hall, Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Vanessa Redgrave, Mark Ruffalo, Sienna Miller, Kim Yoon-seok, Park Yoo- chun, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Williams, Sarah Gadon, John Cusack, Robert Pattinson, Romain Duris, Anais Demoustier, RaphaÎl Personnaz, Tobey Maguire, Peter Sarsgaard, Liev Schreiber, Natalie Dormer, Max Irons, Sam Clafin, Jessica Brown Findlay, Douglas Booth, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Omar Sy, Tamar Rahim, Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Thomas Sadoski, Michiel Huisman, Gaby Hoffmann, Kevin Rankin, Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Adrien Brody, Hayden Christensen, Jordana Brewster, Akon, Chris Evans, Alice Eve, Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, Sam Worthington, Chen Daoming, Gong Li, Xavier Horan, Raukura Turei, Rena Owen, James Rolleston, Lawrence Makoare, Te Kohe Tuhaka, Zhao Wei, Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini, Matthias Schoenaerts, John Ortiz, Felix de Givry, Pauline Etienne, Vincent Macaigne, Golshifteh Farahani, Laura Smet, Vincent Lacoste, Viggo Mortensen, Reda Kateb, Johannes Bah Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Clara Wettergren, Vincent Wettergren, Kristofer Hivju, Fanni Metelius, Ethan Hawke, January Jones, Corey Stoll, Arnold Oceng, Kuoth Wiel, Ger Duany, Emmauel Jal, Femi Oguns, Rosamund Pike, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, Simon Pegg, Stellan Skarsgard, Jean Reno, Al Pacino, Mandy Patinkin, Dianne Wiest, Greta Gerwig, Alba Rohrwacher, Roberta Maxwell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Liam Neeson, Salma Hayek-Pinault, John Krasinski, Frank Langella, Alfred Molina, John Rhys-Davies, Quvenzhane Wallis, Brit Marling, Hailee Steinfeld, Sam Worthington, Muna Otaru, Kyle Soller, Jeremy Jordan, Patricia Clarkson, Ben Kingsley, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti, Holly Hunter, Chris Messina, Priyanka Chopra, Jennifer Garner, Adam Sandler, Judy Greer, Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Timothy Spall, Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey, Paul Jesson, Lesley Manville, Martin Savage, Liam Aiken, Aubrey Plaza, Parker Posey, Joshua McGuire, Ruth Sheen, David Horovitch, Karl Johnson, Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas, Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed, Bill Paxton, Willem Dafoe, Nina Hoss, Michael Douglas, Jeremy Irvine, Hannah Mangan, Lawrence and Ronny Cox, L. Zhong, Shi Liu, Feng Yuanzheng, Qin Hao, Amanda Qin, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Ulrich Thomsen, Maria Bonnevie, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Lykke May Andersen, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, David Thewlis, Emily Watson, Richard Gere, Ben Vereen, Jena Malone, Kyra Sedgwick, Jeremy Strong, Yul Vasquez, Coleman Domingo, Geraldine Hughes, Michael Kenneth Williams, Steve Buscemi, Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, Smoove, Gabrielle Union, Tracy Morgan, Cedric the Entertainer, Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd, Jay Pharoah, Anders Holm, Michael Che, Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Amanda Seyfried, Charles Grodin, Maria Dizzia, Adam Horovitz, Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser, Austin Stowell, Nate Lang, Max Kasch, Damon Gupton, Ricardo Darin, Oscar Martinez, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Erica Rivas, Rita Cortese, Julieta Zylberberg, and Dario Grandinetti.
Here are the 59 films announced today:
The Judge - David Dobkin, USA - World Premiere
A big-city lawyer (Robert Downey, Jr.) returns home when his estranged father, a small-town judge (Robert Duvall), is accused of murder. Starring Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Vincent D'Onofrio, Robert Downey Jr., Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard, and Billy Bob Thornton.
A Little Chaos - Alan Rickman, United Kingdom - World Premiere
A landscape gardener with a taste for the unconventional is invited to design one of the fountains at the Palace of Versailles. As she battles with the weather, the perilous rivalries at the court of Louis XIV and her own private demons, she finds herself drawn closer to the formality and enigma of the architect who hired her. Starring Kate Winslet, Stanley Tucci, Alan Rickman and Matthias Schoenaerts.
Black and White - Mike Binder, USA - World Premiere
Black and White is the story of a widowed grandfather who is left to raise his bi-racial granddaughter. When the little girl’s paternal grandmother seeks custody, a bitter legal battle ensues that forces the uneasy family members to have an honest conversation about life, death, anger and America’s racial divide. Starring Academy Award-winners Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer, as well as Anthony Mackie, Jennifer Ehle, Gillian Jacobs, Bill Burr, Andre Holland and Jillian Estell.
The Equalizer - Antoine Fuqua, USA - World Premiere
In this big-screen adaptation of the cult ‘80s TV show, McCall believes he has put his past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when he meets Teri, a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can’t stand idly by –— he has to help her. Armed with hidden skills that allow him to extract vengeance upon anyone who would brutalize the helpless, McCall comes out of his self-imposed retirement and finds his desire for justice reawakened. If someone has a problem, if the odds are stacked against them, if they have nowhere else to turn, McCall will help. He is The Equalizer. Starring Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz, David Harbour, Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo.
Foxcatcher - Bennett Miller, USA - Canadian Premiere
Based on true events, this film tells the dark and fascinating story of the unlikely and ultimately tragic relationship between an eccentric multi-millionaire and two champion wrestlers. Starring Anthony Michael Hall, Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Vanessa Redgrave, Mark Ruffalo and Sienna Miller.
Haemoo - Shim Sung-bo, South Korea - International Premiere
The ragtag crew of a fishing boat takes on a dangerous commission to smuggle a group of illegal immigrants from China to Korea, in this tense high-seas adventure co-scripted by South Korean genre-movie guru Bong Joon-ho. Starring Kim Yoon-seok and Park Yoo- chun.
Maps to the Stars - David Cronenberg, Canada/Germany - North American Premiere
David Cronenberg forges both a wicked social satire and a very human ghost story from today's celebrity-obsessed culture. Starring Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Williams, Sarah Gadon, John Cusack and Robert Pattinson.
The New Girlfriend (Une nouvelle amie) - Francois Ozon, France - World Premiere
When her best friend Lea dies, Claire falls into a deep depression. However, after making a surprising discovery about her late friend's husband, she's given a new lease on life. Starring Romain Duris, Anais Demoustier and RaphaÎl Personnaz.
Pawn Sacrifice - Ed Zwick, USA - World Premiere
In this remarkable true story set in the height of the Cold War, chess legend Bobby Fischer is locked in a gripping championship clash with the Soviets as he struggles against his own psychological demons while the whole world anxiously awaits the outcome. Starring Tobey Maguire, Peter Sarsgaard and Liev Schreiber.
The Riot Club - Lone Scherfig, United Kingdom - World Premiere
A privileged young man is inducted into the exclusive, debaucherous company of Oxford's elite "Riot Club," in this scathing dissection of the British class system. Based on the hit play Posh, the film stars Natalie Dormer, Max Irons, Sam Clafin, Jessica Brown Findlay and Douglas Booth.
Samba - Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, France - World Premiere
Samba migrated to France 10 years ago from Senegal, and has since been plugging away at various lowly jobs. Alice is a senior executive who has recently undergone a burnout. Both struggle to get out of their dead-end lives - Samba's willing to do whatever it takes to get working papers, while Alice tries to get her life back on track - until fate draws them together. Balancing light-hearted moments with heavier emotion, Samba is a story about two strangers on a new path to happiness. Starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Omar Sy and Tamar Rahim.
This is Where I Leave You - Shawn Levy, USA - World Premiere
Shawn Levy's dramatic comedy follows four adult siblings who return home after their father's death to spend a week with their over- sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Confronting their history and frayed relationships among those who know and love them best, they reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways. Starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll and Kathryn Hahn.
Wild - Jean-Marc Vallee, USA - International Premiere
After years of reckless behaviour, a heroin addiction and the destruction of her marriage, Cheryl Strayed makes a rash decision. Haunted by memories of her mother Bobbi and with absolutely no experience, she sets out to hike more than a thousand miles on the Pacific Crest Trail all on her own. Wild powerfully reveals Cheryl's terrors and pleasures as she forges ahead on a journey that maddens, strengthens and ultimately heals her. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Thomas Sadoski, Michiel Huisman, Gaby Hoffmann and Kevin Rankin.
99 Homes - Ramin Bahrani, USA - Canadian Premiere
After his family is evicted from their home, proud and desperate construction worker Dennis Nash tries to win his home back by striking a deal with the devil and working for Rick Carver, the corrupt real estate broker who evicted him. Starring Andrew Garfield, Laura Dern and Michael Shannon.
American Heist - Sarik Andreasyan, USA - World Premiere
Two brothers with troubled pasts become embroiled in a high-stakes bank robbery, in this indie action thriller. Starring Adrien Brody, Hayden Christensen, Jordana Brewster and Akon.
Before We Go - Chris Evans, USA - World Premiere
Set in Manhattan, the story follows two strangers after their serendipitous meeting in Grand Central. Over the course of one night, they form an unlikely bond and the conflicts in their own lives become the basis for exploration into each other and themselves. Starring Chris Evans and Alice Eve.
Breakup Buddies - Ning Hao, China - World Premiere
Recently cuckolded and reeling from a messy divorce, a hapless former singer hits the road - and the bar - with his all-too-helpful best bud, in this hilarious romantic comedy.
Cake - Daniel Barnz, USA - World Premiere
Cake tells the story of the acerbic Claire Bennett who has managed to alienate everyone from her life, with the exception of her loyal housekeeper. When Claire becomes fascinated with the suicide of a woman in her chronic pain support group, she develops a poignant relationship with the woman's grieving husband and comes to terms with her own personal tragedy, catapulting her forward into life. Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman and Sam Worthington.
Coming Home - Zhang Yimou, China - North American Premiere
Lu Yanshi and Feng Wanyu are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labour camp as a political prisoner, just as his wife is injured in an accident. Released during the last days of the Cultural Revolution, he finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife has amnesia and remembers little of her past. Unable to recognize Lu, she patiently waits for her husband's return - until Lu determines to resurrect their past together and reawaken his wife's memory. Starring Chen Daoming and Gong Li.
The Dead Lands (Hautoa) - Toa Fraser, New Zealand/United Kingdom - World Premiere
Hongi, a Maori chieftain's teenage son, must avenge his father's murder in order to bring peace and honour to the souls of his loved ones after his tribe is slaughtered through an act of treachery. Vastly outnumbered by a band of villains led by Wirepa, Hongi's only hope is to pass through the feared and forbidden "Dead Lands" and forge an uneasy alliance with a mysterious warrior, a ruthless fighter who has ruled the area for years. Starring Xavier Horan, Raukura Turei, Rena Owen, James Rolleston, Lawrence Makoare and Te Kohe Tuhaka.
Dearest Peter - Ho-Sun Chan, China/Hong Kong - North American Premiere
Drawing on remarkable true stories, Peter Chan delivers a moving drama about child abduction in China. Huang Bo stars as a father whose young son disappears in the streets of a big city. He sets out on a search across China, stopping at nothing to find him. In this star-studded cast, Zhao Wei plays the role of a mother from a poor rural area.
The Drop - Michael R. Roskam, USA - World Premiere
The Drop follows lonely bartender Bob Saginowski through a covert scheme of funnelling cash to local gangsters in the underworld of Brooklyn bars. Under the heavy hand of his employer and cousin Marv, Bob finds himself at the centre of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighbourhood's past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living - no matter the cost. Starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini, Matthias Schoenaerts and John Ortiz.
Eden - Mia Hansen-Love, France - World Premiere
In the '90s, French electronic music is developing at a fast pace. Entering this exciting Parisian nightlife, Paul and his best friend form a DJ duo called Cheers. But just as they rapidly find their audience, they are caught up in a euphoric and short-lived rise to fame. Eden retraces the steps of the "French touch" generation from 1992 to today - a generation that still enjoys outstanding international success thanks to DJs like Daft Punk, Dimitri from Paris and Cassius. Starring Felix de Givry, Pauline Etienne, Vincent Macaigne, Greta Gerwig, Golshifteh Farahani, Laura Smet and Vincent Lacoste.
Far From Men (Loin des Hommes) - David Oelhoffen, France - North American Premiere
Algeria, 1954. While the rebellion rumbles in the valley, two very different men thrown together by a world in turmoil are forced to flee across the Atlas mountains. In the midst of an icy winter, Daru, a reclusive teacher, has to escort Mohamed, a villager accused of murder. Pursued by horsemen seeking summary justice and vengeful settlers, the two men decide to confront the unknown. Together, they fight to gain their freedom. Starring Viggo Mortensen and Reda Kateb.
Force Majeure - Ruben Ostlund, Sweden/Norway/Denmark/France - North American Premiere
A Swedish family's ski trip in the French Alps is cut short by news of an oncoming avalanche, during which an impulsive decision by the father Tomas drives a wedge between him and his wife, Ebba - he has run for his life, while she has stayed to protect her children. When the anticipated disaster fails to occur, reality and embarrassed relief returns to the mountainside resort, but the family's world has been shaken to its core. Force Majeure is an observational comedy about the role of the male in modern family life. Starring Johannes Bah Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Clara Wettergren, Vincent Wettergren, Kristofer Hivju and Fanni Metelius.
The Gate - Regis Wargnier, France - World Premiere
Two decades after forging an unlikely alliance in Pol Pot's Cambodia, a French ethnologist and a former Khmer Rouge official meet again after the latter is arrested for crimes against humanity, in this drama from top French director RÈgis Wargnier.
Good Kill - Andrew Niccol, USA - North American Premiere
A Las Vegas-based fighter pilot turned drone pilot fights the Taliban by remote control for 12 hours a day, then goes home to the suburbs and feuds with his wife and kids for the other 12. But the pilot is starting to question the mission. Is he creating more terrorists than he's killing? Is he fighting a war without end? This story follows one soldier's tale with epic implications. Starring Ethan Hawke and January Jones.
The Good Lie - Philippe Falardeau, USA - World Premiere
Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon and an ensemble of young Sudanese actors - all of whom have direct personal ties to the war in their country - bring the inspiring and uplifting story of The Lost Boys of the Sudan to the screen in a film about heartbreak and hope, survival and triumph. Also starring Corey Stoll, Arnold Oceng, Kuoth Wiel, Ger Duany, Emmauel Jal and Femi Oguns.
Hector and the Search for Happiness - Peter Chelsom, Germany/Canada - North American Premiere
Hector is a quirky psychiatrist who has become increasingly tired of his humdrum life. Deciding to break out of his deluded routine, he embarks on a global quest in hopes of uncovering the elusive formula for true happiness? and so begins his larger-than-life adventure with riotously funny results. Starring Rosamund Pike, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, Simon Pegg, Stellan Skarsgard and Jean Reno.
The Humbling - Barry Levinson, USA - North American Premiere
The Humbling tells the story of a legendary stage actor who has an affair with a lesbian woman half his age at a secluded country house in Connecticut. Based on Philip Roth's final novel, it is a tragic comedy about a man who has lived inside his own imagination for too long. Starring Al Pacino, Mandy Patinkin, Dianne Wiest and Greta Gerwig.
Hungry Hearts - Saverio Costanzo, Italy - International Premiere
Mina and Jude meet while stuck together in the restroom of a restaurant, marking the beginning of a true love story. They move in together. They get married. And anticipate the arrival of their baby - until a spiritual guide tells Mina she is bearing an "indigo" child. Starring Adam Driver, Alba Rohrwacher and Roberta Maxwell.
The Imitation Game - Morten Tyldum, United Kingdom/USA - Canadian Premiere
Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win WWII. Turing went on to assist with the development of computers at the University of Manchester after the war, but was prosecuted by the UK government in 1952 for homosexual acts which the country deemed illegal.
Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet, Canada/France/Lebanon/Qatar/USA - World Premiere
Roger Allers, GaÎtan Brizzi, Paul Brizzi, Joan C. Gratz,Mohammed Saeed Harib, Tomm Moore, Nina Paley, Bill Plympton, Joann Sfar and Michal Socha. Inspired by the beloved classic, Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet is a richly-animated story and celebration of Gibran's book, created by artists, animators and musicians from around the world. Starring Liam Neeson, Salma Hayek-Pinault, John Krasinski, Frank Langella, Alfred Molina, John Rhys-Davies and QuvenzhanÈ Wallis.
The Keeping Room - Daniel Barber, USA - World Premiere
Left without men in the dying days of the American Civil War, three Southern women - two sisters and one African-American slave - must fight to defend their home and themselves from two rogue soldiers who have broken off from the fast-approaching Union Army. Starring Brit Marling, Hailee Steinfeld, Sam Worthington, Muna Otaru and Kyle Soller.
The Last Five Years - Richard LaGravenese, USA - World Premiere
In this adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, The Last Five Years is a musical deconstruction of a love affair and a marriage taking place over a five year period. Jamie, a young, talented up-and-coming Jewish novelist falls in love with Cathy, a Shiksa Goddess and struggling actress. The film, told almost entirely through song and a beautiful pop music score, portrays an honest, heartbreaking, often funny, exploration of love and its consequences on individual identity. Starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan.
Learning to Drive - Isabel Coixet, USA - World Premiere
As her marriage dissolves, a Manhattan writer takes driving lessons from a Sikh instructor with marriage troubles of his own. In each other's company, they find the courage to get back on the road and the strength to take the wheel. Starring Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley.
Love & Mercy - Bill Pohlad, USA - World Premiere
Focusing on Brian Wilson, the mercurial singer, songwriter and leader of The Beach Boys, Love & Mercy paints an unconventional portrait of the artist by interweaving seminal moments in his life, from his artistic genius to his profound struggles, and the love that keeps him alive. Starring Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, John Cusack and Paul Giamatti.
Manglehorn - David Gordon Green, USA - North American Premiere
Angelo Manglehorn is a small town locksmith who never got over the love of his life. Clara was a beautiful, idealized woman who left him heartbroken 40 years ago. He still writes her letters obsessively as he tries to find her and get back the woman of his dreams. Manglehorn is the journey of this magical man, his son, his cat and a beautiful new woman trying to help him put the pieces of his heart back together. Starring Al Pacino, Holly Hunter and Chris Messina.
Mary Kom - Omung Kumar, India - World Premiere
Glamorous Indian star Priyanka Chopra completely transforms herself to play Mary Kom, world champion in women's boxing. From traditional village life in remote Manipur state to high-stakes bouts in India and around the world, this is a remarkable story of triumph.
Men, Women and Children - Jason Reitman, USA - World Premiere
Men, Women and Children follows the story of a group of high school teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate the many ways the internet has changed their relationships, their communication, their self-image, and their love lives. Starring Jennifer Garner, Adam Sandler and Judy Greer.
Miss Julie - Liv Ullmann, Norway/United Kingdom/Ireland - World Premiere
A country estate in Ireland in the 1880s. Over the course of one midsummer night, Miss Julie explores the brutal, charged power struggle between a young aristocratic woman and her father's valet. Starring Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton.
Mr. Turner - Mike Leigh, United Kingdom - Canadian Premiere
This biopic explores the last quarter century of the great if eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851). Profoundly affected by the death of his father, he forms a close relationship with a seaside landlady with whom he eventually lives incognito in Chelsea, until his death. Throughout his life, the popular - if anarchic - member of the Royal Academy of Arts travels, paints, stays with the country aristocracy, visits brothels, has himself strapped to the mast of a ship so that he can paint a snowstorm, and is both celebrated and reviled by the public and by royalty. Starring Timothy Spall, Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey, Paul Jesson, Lesley Manville, Martin Savage, Joshua McGuire, Ruth Sheen, David Horovitch and Karl Johnson.
My Old Lady - Israel Horovitz, USA - World Premiere
A down-and-out New Yorker inherits an apartment in Paris from his estranged father and is stunned to find a refined old lady living there with her protective daughter. Starring Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline and Kristin Scott Thomas.
Ned Rifle - Hal Hartley, USA - World Premiere
Ned Rifle is the third and final chapter of Hal Hartley's tragicomic epic begun with Henry Fool (1997) and continued with Fay Grim (2007). At once a saga concerning the Grim family of Queens and how their lives are turned upside down by the arrival of the self- proclaimed genius Henry Fool, the trilogy is also an illustration of America's grappling with ideas, art, politics, and religion over the course of 20 years. In this swiftly paced and expansive conclusion, Henry and Fay's son Ned sets out to find and kill his father for destroying his mother's life. But his aims are frustrated by the troublesome, sexy and hilarious Susan, whose connection to Henry predates even his arrival in the lives of the Grim family.
Nightcrawler - Dan Gilroy, USA - World Premiere
Lou Bloom, a driven young man, discovers the nocturnal world of L.A. crime journalism. Joining a group of freelance camera crews who film marketable mayhem, Lou makes his own place at the table, aided by Nina, a veteran of the blood-sport that is local TV news. Blurring the line between observer and perpetrator, Lou finds his calling in a murderous world reduced to transactions. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed and Bill Paxton.
Pasolini - Abel Ferrara, France/Italy/Belgium - North American Premiere
Rome: on the night of November 2, 1975, the great Italian poet and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini is murdered. Pasolini is the symbol of an art that's fighting against the power. His writings are scandalous, and his films are persecuted by the censors; many people love him and many hate him. The day of his death, Pasolini spends his last hours with his beloved mother and later with his dearest friends, until he finally goes out into the night in his Alfa Romeo in search of adventure in the eternal city. At dawn Pasolini is found dead on a beach in Ostia on the outskirts of the city. In a film dreamlike and visionary, blending reality and imagination, it reconstructs the last day in the life of this great poet. Starring Willem Dafoe.
Phoenix - Christian Petzold, Germany - World Premiere
Nelly Lenz is a concentration camp survivor who has been left with a disfigured face. Following facial reconstruction surgery, Nelly begins the search for her husband Johnny. When she finally does find him, he does not recognise her. Nevertheless he approaches her with a proposal: since she resembles his wife, whom he believes to be dead, he asks her to help him claim his wife's considerable inheritance. Nelly agrees, and becomes her own doppelganger - she needs to know if Johnny ever loved her, or if he betrayed her. Starring Nina Hoss.
The Reach - Jean-Baptiste Leonetti, USA - World Premiere
Ben, a young man who works as a hunting guide, gets a job of a lifetime when he is hired by Madec, a wealthy businessman from Los Angeles, to hunt a bighorn sheep. Their excursion in the Southwestern desert quickly goes from bad to worse when overly-eager Madec gets trigger happy, accidentally killing an old prospector. He attempts to bribe Ben for his secrecy, but Ben staunchly refuses. Outraged, Madec turns on Ben, determined to eliminate the only witness to his crime. Trapped in a sadistic cat-and-mouse game, Ben has to rely on his basic survival skills to make it out alive. Starring Michael Douglas, Jeremy Irvine, Hannah Mangan, Lawrence and Ronny Cox.
Red Amnesia (Chuangru Zhe) - Wang Xiaoshuai, China - North American Premiere
A retired widow has her daily routine derailed when she starts receiving mysterious, anonymous phone calls, in this scintillating thriller from Chinese "Sixth Generation" master Wang Xiaoshuai. Starring L¸ Zhong, Shi Liu, Feng Yuanzheng, Qin Hao and Amanda Qin.
Return to Ithaca - Laurent Cantet, France - North American Premiere
A terrace overlooking Havana. Five friends gather to celebrate the return of Amadeo after 16 years of exile. From dusk to dawn, they reminisce about their youth, the group they used to form, the faith they had in the future - also their disillusionment.
Rosewater - Jon Stewart, USA - Canadian Premiere
The Daily Show's Jon Stewart makes his directorial debut with the true story of Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari (played by Gael GarcÌa Bernal), whose appearance on Stewart's show in 2009 precipitated his five-month imprisonment by the Iranian government.
A Second Chance (En chance til) - Susanne Bier, Denmark - World Premiere
How far are decent human beings willing to go, when tragedy blurs the line between just and unjust? Susanne Bier and Anders Thomas Jensen have crafted a startling yet moving drama, about how easily we lose our grasp on justice when confronted with the unthinkable, and life as we know it hangs by a thread. Starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Ulrich Thomsen, Maria Bonnevie, Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Lykke May Andersen.
Still Alice - Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, USA - World Premiere
Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a devastating diagnosis, Alice and her family find their bonds tested. Alice's struggle to stay connected to who she once was is frightening, heartbreaking, and inspiring. Starring Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth and Julianne Moore.
The Theory of Everything - James Marsh, United Kingdom/USA - World Premiere
The extraordinary true story of one of the world's greatest living minds, Stephen Hawking, who falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde. Hawking receives an earth-shattering diagnosis at age 21. Together, Stephen and Jane defy impossible odds, breaking new ground in medicine and science. Starring Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, David Thewlis and Emily Watson.
Time Out of Mind - Oren Moverman, USA - World Premiere
George, a man on the decline, enters the New York City homeless shelter system when he runs out of options. George struggles to navigate his way through this new world with the help of Dixon, a shelter veteran while trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter Maggie. Starring Richard Gere, Ben Vereen, Jena Malone, Kyra Sedgwick, Jeremy Strong, Yul Vasquez, Coleman Domingo, Geraldine Hughes, Michael Kenneth Williams and Steve Buscemi.
Top Five - Chris Rock, USA - World Premiere
Written, directed by, and starring Chris Rock, Top Five tells the story of New York City comedian-turned-film star Andre Allen, whose unexpected encounter with a journalist forces him to confront both the career that made him famous and the life he left behind. Starring Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, Smoove, Gabrielle Union, Tracy Morgan, Cedric the Entertainer, Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd, Jay Pharoah, Anders Holm and Michael Che. And featuring music by Questlove.
While We're Young - Noah Baumbach, USA - World Premiere
Noah Baumbach's exploration of aging, ambition and success, stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as a middle-aged couple whose career and marriage are overturned when a disarming young couple enters their lives. Also starring Amanda Seyfried, Adam Driver, Charles Grodin, Maria Dizzia and Adam Horovitz.
Whiplash - Damien Chazelle, USA - Canadian Premiere
Andrew Neyman is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite East Coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher, an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young man's life. Andrew's passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability - and his sanity. Starring Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser, Austin Stowell, Nate Lang, Max Kasch and Damon Gupton.
Wild Tales (Relatos salvajes) - Damian Szifron, Argentina/Spain - Canadian Premiere
More than living up to its title, director Dami·n Szifron's compendium of outrageous, hilarious and truly bizarre anecdotes offers a subversive, blackly comic portrait of contemporary Argentina. Starring Ricardo Darin, Oscar Martinez, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Erica Rivas, Rita Cortese, Julieta Zylberberg and Dario Grandinetti.
You need sign in to comment on entries on Larry411.
In my travels to the best film festivals in…